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May 14th, 2015
Dear Addison Northeast Supervisory Union and Mount Abraham Union High School boards:
I have not yet heard a response from any of you regarding my letter to you regarding video surveillance at Mount Abraham Union Middle/High School. On April 22 I sent a complaint against the installation of video surveillance cameras in the Mt. Abe Information Technology Help Desk Office without first seeking prior approval from the respective school boards, and without first providing any notification to the school principal, faculty, staff and students.
The Shumlin Administration and the Vermont Legislature certainly have had their low points this session, starting with the governor abandoning his health care reform initiative and now being on the verge of scuttling the Vermont Health Exchange, as well as struggling to find ways to bridge a $130-plus million budget gap, but we’d be remiss not to note the few high points of the session, and to recognize the positive steps taken that move us forward.
Here are a few bills passed recently that will serve Vermont well.
VERGENNES — The Vergennes Union High School board on Monday agreed to submit a to-be-announced lower dollar amount for a third budget vote and to pick June 9 as the vote date.
The board will wait until a May 28 meeting to make final a new spending plan for the June 9 vote, one that will be held on the same day as a third Mount Abraham Union High School budget vote.
Board members on Monday said they hope to adopt a VUHS budget that will lower the projected tax impacts in Addison Northwest Supervisory towns by several cents.
MIDDLEBURY — The Middlebury selectboard wants to get community feedback before deciding whether to have a referendum on deciding future municipal budgets by Australian ballot.
It was a few weeks ago that former Selectman Craig Bingham asked the selectboard to consider a switch to Australian ballot for deciding the town budget. That spending plan has historically been decided from the floor at the annual gathering on the first Monday in March. That meeting draws an average of around 200 people out of Middlebury’s total checklist of 4,671 registered voters.
EAST MIDDLEBURY — It was a brisk day last fall when Walt Ducharme stood at the side of a freshly dug grave at the Prospect Cemetery in East Middlebury. The mortal remains of three people were at last given a final resting place after reposing in nondescript boxes in an office cabinet for 80 years.
But with eternal rest does not always come closure.
BRISTOL — The pain is inconceivable.
While other moms throughout the nation were being celebrated by their children this past Sunday, Mother’s Day, Katie Gorton was pressing her ear to her 15-year-old son Jacob’s chest to hear his heart beat for the last time.
As bicycling season begins and as we attempt to process two recent biking fatalities, the question of how to make Vermont a safer and more enjoyable place to bike looms large.
BRISTOL — The unofficial Addison County high school baseball crown this year goes to Mount Abraham, who on Tuesday completed a sweep of their local rivals by holding on to edge improving Vergennes, 4-3.
The Eagles (4-7) had earlier blanked both Otter Valley and Middlebury, both behind the pitching of Tuesday’s complete-game winner, senior Mike Jerome.